India exported about 37 lakh tonne of sugar in the 2018-19 marketing year ended September to clear the surplus stock, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Union minister Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said sugar mills were advised to export sugar as per their MIEQ (Minimum Indicative Export Quota) allocation.
"With a view to evacuate surplus sugar from the country, mill-wise MIEQ of 50 lakh tonne of sugar for export in the 2018-19 sugar season (October 2018 to September 2019) was fixed," the Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs said in a written reply.
Against the allocated quantity for 2018-19, about 37 lakh tonne has been exported, he added.
The minister said there was no compulsion on the mills to export sugar and they were free to export the commodity as per their commercial decision.
In view of the huge carryover stock of sugar and estimates of surplus output in the current sugar season, the government has allocated mill-wise Maximum Admissible Export Quantity (MAEQ) of 60 lakh tonne of the sweetener to the mills for export in 2019-20, Dadarao said.
Industry body ISMA recently said sugar production fell 54 per cent during October-November to 18.85 lakh tonne due to sharp decline in output in Maharashtra where cane crushing started late.
Last month, ISMA said the sugar output is estimated to fall 21.5 per cent to 26 million tonne in the current 2019-20 marketing year. It reported an opening stock of 14.58 million tonne of sugar as on October 1.